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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Black Cloud: The Great Florida Hurricane of 1928 » User review

Compelling account of devasting 1928 hurricane.

  • Dec 13, 2008
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Do you ever stop and shake your head at all of the apartment complexes, condominiums, beachfront homes and commercial enterprises that have sprung up all along the coastline?  It would seem that many Americans are unaware of or have become indifferent to the danger posed by hurricanes.  In "Black Cloud:  The Great Hurricane of 1928" author Eliot Kleinberg describes the horrors of the second deadliest hurricane in U.S. history.  An estimated 7000 people were killed in its wake. Kleinberg describes the unique set of circumstances in 1928 Florida that caused the overwhelming majority of the casualties to occur inland near Lake Okeechobee.

The author provides the fascinating history that led to the draining of the Everglades, and the ill-advised construction of a flimsy dike around Lake Okeechobee that contributed in a huge way to the incomprehensible loss of life that occured during this storm.  As is true in a great many disasters, what occured here was the unfortunate combination of a great many circumstances.  I found the book to be fairly well written and for the most part easy to follow.  And as you might expect, race played a major role in how the situation was handled by both public officials and the population at large.  If you are a history buff or are fascinated with natural disasters as I am "Black Cloud: The Great Hurricane of 1928" is certainly a book you should consider.  Recommended
Compelling account of devasting 1928 hurricane. Compelling account of devasting 1928 hurricane.

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About the reviewer
Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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Description

The great hurricane of 1928 claimed 2,500 lives, and the long-forgotten story of the casualties, as told in Black Cloud, continues to stir passion. Among the dead were 700 black Floridians—men, women, and children who were buried in an unmarked West Palm Beach ditch during a racist recovery and rebuilding effort that conscripted the labor of blacks as latter-day slaves. Palm Beach Post reporter Eliot Kleinberg has penned the gripping and tragic tale of 1928's killer hurricane from dozens of interviews with survivors, diary entries, accounts from newspapers, government documents, and reports from the National Weather Service and the Red Cross. Immortalized in Zora Neale Hurston's classic Their Eyes Were Watching God, thousands of poor blacks had nowhere to run when the waters of Lake Okeechobee rose. No one spoke for them, no one stood up for them, and no one could save them. With historical photographs and heroic tales of survival and loss, this book finally gives the dead the dignity they deserve.


"Palm Beach Post" hurricane reporter and Florida native Eliot Kleinberg has penned the gripping tale of a killer hurricane from survivors' interviews, diary entries, and accounts from local and world newspapers. The storm's journey is chronicled as it kills perhaps 7,000 people along its path from the Caribbean to Canada.
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Details

ISBN-10: 0786711469
ISBN-13: 978-0786711468
Author: Eliot Kleinberg
Genre: Hurricanes, Atmospheric Sciences
Publisher: Basic
Date Published: July 2003
Format: Hardcover
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